How often does the optional KDF filter need to be replaced?
You should replace the KDF filter yearly (if 2 people are showering daily for 10 minutes each) or more often if you smell the presence of chlorine. It has nothing to do with softening the water but it does a great job filtering chlorine, microorganisms (mold, algae, fungi, bacteria) and heavy metals (lead, mercury, nickel and chromium). This is great for you and also for the resin since it’s being protected from these contaminants which ensures it performs well and has a long life.
Do KDF filters or Charcoal filters soften water?
No! These filters mainly remove chlorine, heavy metals, and microorganisms. They do not remove calcium, magnesium, or iron (hard water minerals). Hard water minerals irritate your skin and dry your skin & scalp the most. They can only be inexpensively removed with a water softener such as our salt regenerated resin based ShowerStick. (If you use a hard water test kit on the water coming from a ‘filter’ you will see that it will not test as soft.)
Does the ShowerStick soften the water like a whole house water softener?
Yes, it uses the same resin beads and technology (“ion exchange”) as any salt based water softener and provides the same quality soft water for your shower as any softener can.
Can I purchase a ShowerStick in retail stores?
We only sell wholesale direct to you via our website.
How much sodium (salt) is added to the water by the ShowerStick?
If you drank an 8 oz. glass of softened water you’d consume approximately 12.5 mg of sodium (approx. 200 mg per gallon). By comparison, 1 Alka Seltzer tablet contains 445 mg of sodium and one can of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup contains about 2225 mg of sodium. However, you aren’t using the water from the ShowerStick as your drinking water. Therefore, only very trace amounts of sodium seep into your skin when showering in softened water.
Can I use my existing shower head with the ShowerStick?
We recommend using the shower head that comes with the ShowerStick because it doesn’t have any switches (on/off, massage, etc) which can sometimes create a back pressure issue. What this means is that when you put the shower head on the floor of the shower to regenerate, some shower heads with switches or massagers won’t allow all of the water to flow out of the ShowerStick in order for you to then be able to pour all of the salt water inside. You can try a different shower head to see if it will work. Remove the regeneration port cap then lay the shower head on the floor and see if the water drains at a steady pace without any resistance (takes about 2 minutes). Then pour your salt solution inside to regenerate. If when you are slowly pouring the salt water inside it starts to back up and not let you pour it in at a steady pace as it flows out the shower head, then you know you either need to use the shower head that came with the ShowerStick or remove yours each time you regenerate.
How should I store my ShowerStick?
The first thing you should do is regenerate. Then turn the water on and let it run for 30-60 seconds to drain out most of the salt. Keep as much water inside your ShowerStick as possible when removing it from your shower so the resin stays moist. All 3 openings need to be sealed to ensure air doesn’t get inside with the resin to dry it out and kill it. Also, be sure to store the ShowerStick somewhere where it won’t freeze.
There are 2 ways you can prepare your ShowerStick for storage:
- Remove the ShowerStick from your shower but keep the hose attached at the bottom. Remove the shower head from the other end of the hose and attach the hose to the nipple fitting at the top of the ShowerStick. Keep the regeneration port cap attached. -OR-
- Purchase 1/2 inch caps from your local hardware store and attach them to the nipple fittings on each end of the ShowerStick (the cap on the regeneration port is ¾”). Keep the regeneration port cap attached.
When you return, backwash the resin then regenerate. Backwashing instructions can be found at the bottom of this page.
Can I use water softener salt or other coarse grain salts to regenerate?
Water softening salt is a coarse grain salt that usually comes in chips or pellets and contains dirt and sediment. This type of salt is made for whole house water softening systems. These systems are capable of breaking down the chips or pellets into a fine grain and they have a filter to get rid of the dirt and sediment. Since the ShowerStick doesn’t have a built in system to do this, a granulated (fine grain) salt such as iodized or plain table salt should be used when regenerating. The chunks or pellets won’t dissolve in your water bottle so the resin inside the ShowerStick won’t get enough salt to properly regenerate. And you definitely don’t want to get the pellets inside the ShowerStick because they will sit inside the resin bed and the dirt and sediment from this type of salt will eventually destroy the resin.
Does the ShowerStick remove chloramines?
Chloramines are a combination of ammonia with chlorine. Chlorine isn’t a problem for a filter to remove (our KDF filter does this) but for the combination of the two to be removed you’d have to have a very large amount of media (much larger than would fit inside a shower filter) and the water would have to stay in contact with the media for a long period of time. If there is a shower filter out there that claims to remove chloramines, most likely it’s a very tiny percentage which would hardly make a difference. According to the chloramine.org FACTS page, “There is NO certified showerhead filter to remove chloramine”.
How will I know when to regenerate & how do I regenerate?
Can I install the ShowerStick in my shower if I’m outside the US?
Yes, if you have a 1/2” American standard thread pipe coming out of your wall (protrudes about 4” when installed) and it needs to be securely fastened behind the wall.
How do I backwash my resin?
(Note: Backwashing can only be done if you purchased your ShowerStick after July 2011 and have a filter basket glued inside (you can see it if you look down inside the regeneration port opening) to keep the resin from coming out. Contact us if you aren’t sure.)
In order to remove the dirt, debris and minerals that may be built up inside with the resin, you can backwash it. To do this, remove the ShowerStick body and take it outside to a hose (keep the cap on the regeneration port). Don’t turn the water on too high pressure because you don’t want the filter baskets at either end of the ShowerStick that hold the resin inside to break. Force water through the ShowerStick body backwards (up through the bottom and out through the top) and shake up the resin inside. Continue to do this until you are able to get a strong stream of water to go through and until the resin feels like it has loosened up (for at least 10 minutes but the longer you can do it the better). You won’t be able to get the hose to fit around the threaded fitting at the bottom of the ShowerStick but you can hold it up to it the best you can to get the water to go inside. Then hook the ShowerStick back up in your shower and regenerate.
(Note: If you don’t have a hose outside to use, you can backwash the resin from inside your shower by removing all parts of the assembly (KDF filter (if purchased), angle connector (or offset connector if purchased) and remove the shower head from the hose) but leave the shower arm mount attached to the shower pipe, and leave the hose attached to the bottom of the ShowerStick body. With each end of the ShowerStick body in your hands, shake up the resin inside to loosen it up. Hold the ShowerStick body upside down (leave the hose attached at the bottom) and attach the loose end (the end that had the shower head attached) of the hose to the shower arm mount (be sure the black rubber washer is still inside the end of the hose). Run water through slowly at first (to make sure everything is attached good and water isn’t leaking anywhere) then turn the water pressure up so the resin gets thoroughly washed. Backwash (flush) the resin for at least 10 minutes. When finished, shake up the resin inside as good as you can then hook the ShowerStick back up and regenerate.)
It’s a good idea to backwash the resin every 6-12 months to keep it clean and loose inside the ShowerStick so it’s able to do the best job it can to soften your water.
*Note: After backwashing, be sure to re-apply plumbers tape to the male fitting at the top of the ShowerStick body (wrap clockwise about 3 times around) before re-attaching to the KDF filter (if purchased) or to the angle connector and re-apply plumbers tape to the male fitting on the KDF filter (if purchased) to ensure everything will be sealed good and won’t leak. Also, remember to hand tighten all parts barely snug without using tools as over-tightening will cause the fittings to break off.
Possible causes for needing to backwash the resin more often than recommended: Using coarse grain (vs. granulated) salt to regenerate, long periods of not using the ShowerStick, pouring salt directly inside without it being dissolved in water, having low water pressure, long periods of time between regenerating, having corrosion issues with the pipes in a house or apartment which causes particulates and ferrous metal flakes to enter the ShowerStick and come into contact with the resin, or just from having a lot of contaminants in your water (replacing the KDF filter yearly or having a whole house filtration system will help with this).